Page last updated at 11:51 GMT, Thursday, 19 March 2009

Wallace tower poses accident risk

The Wallace Monument in Stirling. Pic by Niall Chapman
The Wallace Monument in Stirling was built in the 1860s

The Wallace Monument in Stirling has been named as one of ten UK landmarks which pose a potentially fatal distraction to motorists.

Of 1,000 drivers surveyed, 13% admitted taking their eyes off the road to view the 220ft tower.

The poll by esure car insurance found that 12% of motorists had experienced an accident or near-miss after losing concentration near roadside landmarks.

Stonehenge and the Angel of the North were named as the most distracting.

While half of drivers polled admitted that they had slowed down when passing a landmark, 66% said they had been encouraged to look away by passengers.

The 10 most distracting landmarks in Britain
1. Stonehenge 2. Angel of the North 3. London Eye 4. Windsor Castle
5. Celtic Chalk Figures in Dorset
6. Wembley Stadium 7. Hadrian's Wall 8. Long Man of Willmington
9. Humber Bridge 10. The Wallace Monument

The Wallace Monument, which attracts more than 125,000 visitors a year, was opened in 1869 to commemorate the life of William Wallace.

Mike Pickard, head of risk and underwriting at the insurer, said: "Spotting famous landmarks has long been a fun part of road trips, but this can also lead drivers to distraction as they take their eyes away from the road, slow down or brake suddenly.

"If motorists want to look at a landmark or take a quick photo, they should either pull into a lay-by when it is safe to do so or wait until they are not the ones in the driving seat."

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Wallace Monument to get upgrade
17 May 08 |  Tayside and Central

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